As the FIFA World Cup 2022 approaches in Doha, fans from around the world are flocking in. But with no diplomatic relations between the two nations, Qatar is not making it easy for Israeli fans to attend by requiring direct flights from Israel to make a “diplomatic layover” in Cyprus.
Direct Flights From Israel To Qatar Will Make “Diplomatic Layover” In Cyprus
Qatar does not recognize Israel, but is happy to sell tickets to Israelis for the upcoming World Cup. This will mark the first time Israelis will be welcomed into Qatar without being forced to use a non-Israeli passport.
There are no direct flights between the two. El-Al is not allowed to fly to Doha and Qatar Airways will not fly to Tel Aviv. But TUS Airways, a Cypriot airline, sought to fly nonstop from Tel Aviv (TLV) to Doha (DOH) during the World Cup.
Its request was denied. Sort of.
TUS cannot operate nonstop, but will operate a “direct” flight from Tel Aviv to Doha via Larnaca (LCA). In Larnaca, passengers will remain onboard, the crew will not change, but the plane will sit for a short “diplomatic layover” before proceeding on to Doha.
Tel Aviv to Larnaca service is just 50 minutes, followed by a 3.5 hour flight from Larnaca to Doha. The LCA-DOH flight will avoid Israeli airspace, hence the slightly longer travel time versus a straight line of 1,261 miles.
Is it just me, or does this also strike you as the same sort of tomfoolery that characterized Egypt Air’s special “Air Sinai” flight between Tel Aviv and Cairo for so many years? Oh, we’ll do business with the Israelis. We’ll even welcome them using thier own passports. But we still will not place the nation on many of our maps or, in the case of Qatar, even recognize it as real.
Israeli passport holders will be welcomed at the World Cup in Doha…but nonstop flights will not be permitted. One operator, TUS, will operate about as close to a direct flight as possible, making only a brief “diplomatic layover” in Larnaca.
Of course, Israelis can also fly via Dubai on Emriates, via Abu Dhabi on Etihad, via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, or other more indirect routes. But it seems like football diplomacy would have been a great way for Qatar and Israel to establish diplomatic relations.
The intra-Sunni conflict between Qatar and its neighbors was (and to a degree still is) complicated and I do not mean to downplay it. So is the Palestinian question in Israel and Qatar’s interest in that struggle. But this whole dog and pony show of forcing flights to make “diplomatic layovers” strikes me a comically pathetic.
image: Lazaros327 / Wikimedia Commons
Is it “Cutter” or “Katar” like guitar?
Can’t believe these silly people on both sides still can’t get along. There obviously is enough money to go around so does anything else matter?
As the legendary Rodney King once said…..
Huh? Like the British pronunciation of “Quay” (key)?
This was probably done to somewhat appease both Israel and Iran. Qatar also has ties with Iran, and Iran is in the World Cup this year, but Qatar probably wants as many people to come to their World Cup- even people from Israel.
At the end of the day, it just brings the sentiment that hopefully people can get along and see past religion, race, and gender.
So in reality Israelis are about as welcome as LGBTQ people in Qatar but the hypocritical Qatari regime will still take their money.
Decent people should be avoiding the world cup which never should have been staged in this repressive and backwards state.
The People’s Republic of China used to require travelers between the mainland and the Republic of China (Taiwan) to stop in Hong Kong.
Why don’t they just book a flight via Dubai or Amman or any other city that has connecting options and airlines between Tel Aviv and Doha? Looks like instead they chose a charter flight that they expected would be allowed to fly directly to Doha.
“The intra-Sunni conflict between Qatar and its neighbors was”
That implies there is some religious conflict, which isn’t quite true. It was an intra-Arab conflict.
Instead of concentrating on Qatar and their policy, why not be unbiased and speak of Isr**l’s human rights abuse against the Palestinian women and children? Why bash Qatar when you really need to bash the aggressor.
Israel’s not trying to entice Qatari visitors or take their money for sporting events. That’s the narrow context of this discussion. And of course the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far more complicated than your simplification (through I condemn all abuse against Palestinian women and children.
But not abuse against Palestinian men? Seriously?
Buy not abuse against Israeli women and children? And Nigerian ones?
And how can you write about Qatar without mentioning the horrible war in Yemen?
Yes, I’ve condemned the Iranians for their perpetration of violence in their proxy war with KSA in Yemen.
Ah, but of course the expected anti-Semite commenter has to speak up.
Anti-Zionism and antisemitism are not the same thing.
Except when it is (btw, laughably easy to demonstrate that 99.9999% of the time Anti-Zionism is full-fledged anti-Semitism).
Yeah, that’s a nice made up statistic. And it isn’t in this case, since these same travel restriction probably apply as well to Palestinian citizens of Israel.
When virtually almost every jew in the world is a zionist (and this isn’t even close, we’re talking magnitude of something like 95%) – saying that anti-zionism is being anti-jewish is quite accurate.
Never mind that the motives of the anti-zionist propoganda take their core inspiration from classic anti-semitic tropes (examples can be provided).
Bottom line – the anti-semites on the radical left use ‘zionist’ the same way the far right, or arab extremist use it: they really, really just mean ‘jews’.
Nah, it isn’t accurate. Seems like the radical right is has been pushing this propaganda to silence any criticism of Israel. Much of anti-Zionist “propaganda” is based on notions of politics and justice.
Bottom line – criticizing or being against Israel doesn’t make one anti-Jewish, no matter how much people try to peddle that asinine line of thinking.